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Thursday, May 13, 2004

The Future of D&D 

At GAMA this year, Wizards of the Coast had a D&D Breakfast where they outlined their strategy for the future of D&D and the D&D Miniatures line.

GamingReport.com posted the slides they displayed, and later I transcribed them for ENworld readers. I'm now going to copy them to here so that I've got a record somewhere on my site of what they said.

I found looking at the entire presentation to be very interesting - I hope you will find it so as well.

Stage I Goal: Acquire New Players


Acquisition Marketing: Try!
* Purchase Basic Game or Starter Set

Stage I Consumer:

* Profile
- Interested in D&D (6.1 million "potential" players)
* Migration Goals:
- introduce the basic concepts of the D&D brand
- teach roleplaying concepts
- enter D&D with a playable character
* Products
- D&D Basic game
- D&D Miniatures Starter Set
- Young Reader Novels

Roleplaying: the D&D Basic Game

* The ideal product to introduce new players to roleplaying
* Gently guides new players from their expectations of a "normal" board game into D&D's more unusual concepts
* Product content, component quality, and price point comparable to mainstream board games
* A no-compromises acquisition product

D&D Basic Game - $24.95
September 2004
10-1/2" x 11-1/2" x 2-1/2" boxed set
Contents:
- two 8 page full color starter rulebooks
- 4 double-sided boardlike map tiles
- 16 miniatures
- character cards
- advanced rulebook
- dice

D&D Miniatures

* Miniatures are a brand-extension
- Provide a new way to play
- Provide RPG accessories
* D&D Miniatures will always be
- playable out of the box
- iconic D&D characters and monsters
- linked with other D&D products
* D&D Miniatures will always provide
- fast, competitive play with miniatures
- ready to use D&D monsters and characters

D&D Miniatures Starter Set

* Provides everything needed to get started
- 40-page rule book
- 16 figures
- battlegrid map
- d20
- damage counters
* Entry point for potential players
- competitive play
- familiar-looking experience
- introduces d20 rules system

Young Reader Novels

* Draw tweens into fantasy
* Readers energised by Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings films
* Mirrorstone Books - new imprint
* Knights of the Silver Dragon
- entry level, ages 8-12
- Hardy Boys meets LotR in the dungeon
* Dragonlance: the New Adventures
- ages 10-12
- recurring teenage cast of adventurers
* Knights of the Silver Dragon
- Secrets of the Spiritkeeper (August)
- Riddle in Stone (August)
- $5.99, digest size, 192 pages
- readers can become Knights themselves

* Dragonlance: the New Adventures
- Temple of the Dragonslayer (July)
- The Dying Kingdom (July)
- $5.99, digest size, 256 pages

Acquisition Marketing: Capture Tweens and Teens

* Large-scale mainstream marketing push
* Year-long PR campaign to build awareness and modify negative brand perceptions
* Turn potential players into active customers
- game demos at Worldwide D&D Game Day
- interactive web demo supported by 3 waves of print and online advertising
- over 47 million impressions

Stage II Goals: Retain and Migrate Players

In-Product Cross-Promo: Buy!
* Purchase core rules, accessories and mini boosters

Stage II Consumer

* Profile
- comfortable with roleplaying concepts
* Migration Goals
- play and purchase regularly
* Products
- RPG Core rulebooks
- roleplaying accessories
- D&D Miniatures booster packs
- novels

Roleplaying: Core Rulebooks

* The heart of D&D
- Player's Handbook
- Dungeon Master's Guide
- Monster Manual
* Compatible with all Third Edition supplements

Roleplaying: Accessories

* Accessories are items that aid play without increasing sophistication
* Encourage active players to make incremental purchases
- Deluxe Character Sheets and Deluxe DM Screen
- D&D Dice
- Map Folio I and Map Folio II
- Miniatures

Map Folio I

* April 2004
* $9.95
* 64 page folio with folder
* beautiful maps allow DMs to quickly illustrate movement and clarify gameplay
* Map Folio II and Map Folio 3-D to follow in 2004

Miniatures: Booster Packs

* Aimed at all D&D fans
* Provide additional game-play utility
- new creatures for competitive warbands
- RPG adventures feature creatures from sets
- battle mats and maps
- playsets and scenarios
* Collectible D&D
- exclusive iconic characters drawn from 30 years of D&D

D&D Miniatures: Giants of Legend

* July 2004
* Huge Pack ($19.99)
- 9 random, pre-painted miniatures
+ regular assortment, plus 1 Huge
* 72 Figures in set
- Huge-sized creatures
- Giants, older dragons
- Legendary characters

Novels: Forgotten Realms

* The Two Swords by R.A. Salvatore (October)
- $25.95, hardcover
- Completes the Hunter's Blades Trilogy (The Thousand Orcs; The Lone Drow)
- The Lone Drow spent ten weeks on the NYT best-seller list

* R.A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen series
- $24.95; hardcover
- Extinction by Lisa Smedman (January)
- Annihiliation by Phil Athans (July)
- Cover Art by Brom

Stage II: Retention Marketing: Driving Player Purchases

* Increase player participation in RPGA events
- miniatures retail OP program launched in January
- full summer convention season of events
- RPGA Player Rewards program

* Encourage players to become DMs
- RPGA GM-University program
- revamped Dragon and Dungeon magazines

* Turn players into brand evangelists
- worldwide "Learn to play D&D" Game Day
- bring-a-friend program

* Nine month integrated PR and ad campaign
- 3 waves of print and online advertising
- over 10 million impressions

Stage III Goal: Retain and Migrate Players

Repeat purchase behaviour: supplements and settings
Retention Marketing: Invest

Stage III Consumer:

* Profile
- plays regularly
- involved in D&D as a hobby ("lifestyle")

* Migration Goals
- retain player
- increase purchase behaviour

* Products
- rules supplement
- campaign settings

Roleplaying: Supplements and Campaign Settings

* Supplements increase the sophistication and scope of the game

* Campaign settings and products provide a game world in which to set play

* Both promote repeat-purchase model - they encourage players to buy more stuff!

Roleplaying: Supplements

* All Supplement are now organized into series
* Series structure helps players decide "what to buy next"
* Each series has a unique (but distinctly D&D) trade dress
* Existing backlist will be made compatible with series structure in reprint

2004 Releases

- Rulesbuilder series
* Unearthed Arcana (February)
* Expanded Psionics (April)
* Planar Handbook (July)
- Hero series: Complete Divine (May)
- Race series: Races of Stone (August)
- Environment series: Frostburn (September)
- Creature series: Libris Mortis (October)
- Genre series and others

Roleplaying: Campaign Settings

* Comprehensive sourcebooks of unique worlds aimed at dedicated players

* Eberron:
- Eberron Campaign Setting (June)
- Shadows of the Last War adventure (July)
- Heavy cross-category support continues through 2004, 2005 and beyond

* Forgotten Realms
- Player's Guide to Faerun (March)
- Serpent Kingdoms (July)

Expanded Psionics Handbook

* March 2004
* $34.95
* 224-page hardcover
* New rules for psionics and psionic characters
* Expands the usefulness of psionics and makes it easier for DMs

Monster Manual III

* September 2004
* $34.95
* 224-page hardcover
* Nearly 200 new monsters
* New easier-to-access format makes this the most useful monster supplement yet!

Eberron Campaign Setting

* June 2004
* $39.95
* 288-page hardcover
* D&D's exciting new campaign setting, the first in more than five years
* Fully supported: three supplements to follow in 2004 alone

Retention Marketing: Celebration Events

* Origins
- D&D Timeline Exhibition debut

* Gen Con
- "Epic Level" party
- D&D-sponsored "True Dungeon"

* Worldwide "Learn to play D&D" Game Day
- POP materials and demo kits available
- Advertising and PR will draw new customers

Retention Marketing: Promote Eberron

* Sneak Peaks
- First exclusive preview at Winter Fantasy
- "Countdown to Eberron" preview articles in Dragon
- Web previews

* Pre-order promotion
- Free warforged minis for your customers
- Drives Eberron Campaign Setting sales

* Print and online advertising
- 2 waves, over summer and fall
- over 6 million impressions

Thirty Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons

* Coffee table book releases in October 2004
- 320 pages
- will include text and short sidebars from celebrities from the gaming world and beyond
- extensive photographs and artwork throughout

* Great tool for spreading the word about D&D


For those waiting on the rest of my D&D Miniatures lists, I'll get to them tomorrow!

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